The latest news on COVID-19 developments in Canada

·8 min read

The latest news on COVID-19 developments in Canada (all times Eastern):

7 p.m.

Saskatchewan's Ministry of Health released new modelling data showing that over the next six months, there could be fewer than 5,000 new COVID-19 cases or more than 400,000 — depending on how people behave.

Officials released the data as the province tries to reverse its current spike in infections.

Chief medical health officer Dr. Saqib Shahab says the best-case scenario is more likely to happen if people wear a mask and cut down on socializing.

Health Minister Paul Merriman says nothing is off the table in terms of future public-health measures.

As of Thursday, it became mandatory to wear a mask in indoor public areas across the province and household gatherings were restricted to five people.

Merriman says the government wants to balance the needs of the health-care system with the ability to keep as many people as possible working.

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6:15 p.m.

B.C. is reporting 538 new cases of COVID-19, pushing the number of active infections to 6,929.

There are 217 people in hospital with the illness and provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry says intensive care capacity is being stretched thin by the surging case numbers.

One more person has died after contracting COVID-19, bringing the death toll in B.C. to 321.

There are 59 health-care facilities with active outbreaks, including 40 assisted-living or long-term care homes.

The latest numbers came as Henry announced new public health restrictions on social gatherings that now extend across B.C. until at least Dec. 7, as well as an order making it mandatory to wear masks in public spaces.

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6 p.m.

British Columbia is bringing in stricter restrictions because of a surge of COVID-19 cases.

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry says social gatherings need to be curtailed and the new limits will be in place across the province until Dec. 7.

Masks are also being made mandatory in public spaces and at retail businesses.

Restrictions on social gatherings were put in place for those living in the Fraser Valley and Vancouver areas on Nov. 7, but Henry says the measures didn't decrease the number of cases and the health-care system is under pressure.

She says all worship services and community and social events will be suspended, along with high-intensity group fitness, such as interval training, hot yoga and spin classes.

Baptisms, weddings and funerals are exempt but are limited to 10 people.

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5:45 p.m.

Alberta is reporting 1,105 new cases of COVID-19.

It's the highest daily case count in the province yet.

Officials say eight more people have also died from the illness.

There are 284 people in hospital, and of those, 61 are in intensive care.

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5:15 p.m.

Quebec Premier Francois Legault says he is proposing a “moral contract” with Quebecers for the holiday season.

He told reporters today that if Quebecers isolate for one week before Christmas and one week after, gatherings up to 10 people will be permitted between Dec. 24 and 27.

The premier says primary schools will break for winter a few days early, on Dec. 17, and reopen on their previously scheduled date after the new year.

Secondary schools, meanwhile, will break for Christmas on Dec. 17 and won’t reopen until Jan. 11.

Legault is also announcing that partial lockdown measures covering most of the province will be extended for the second time, until at least Jan. 11.

All bars, gyms, restaurant dining areas and entertainment venues will be closed in so-called red zones – including Montreal and Quebec City – until that time.

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4:30 p.m.

Northern Health has declared an outbreak of COVID-19 at the LNG Canada worksite near the town of Kitimat on B.C.’s north coast.

The health authority says there was evidence of COVID-19 transmission among staff and so far 14 employees have tested positive at the site, where JGC Fluor is the main contractor.

Northern Health says contact tracing and management efforts have gone well and people who are sick, along with their close contacts, have been instructed to self-isolate.

It says 32 employees remain in self-isolation at the site and the rest are isolating in their home communities as a result of the outbreak declaration, which will be in place for at least 28 days.

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3:45 p.m.

Edmonton Mayor Don Iveson says he's talking to other mayors about how municipalities could work together to reduce the spread of COVID-19, but he would prefer to see the provincial government step up with stricter measures.

Iveson says Edmontonians are growing increasingly frustrated with rising case numbers.

There were more than 4,157 active cases Wednesday in the Edmonton zone, including 157 people in hospital and 36 in intensive care.

The province as a whole had 10,057 active cases, 287 people in hospital and 57 in intensive care.

Premier Jason Kenney's government brought in new restrictions last Friday for hard-hit areas, including Edmonton, that include a two-week ban on indoor group sports and fitness classes and earlier closing times for restaurants, bars and pubs.

The government also strongly recommended there be no gatherings in homes and warned it could have to step in with fines if people don't fall in line.

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2:35 p.m.

The New Brunswick government is imposing tighter restrictions on residents of the Moncton area to slow the spread of a COVID-19 outbreak.

Health officials reported four new cases today, but they also confirmed that the number of cases in the Moncton area had doubled in the past week.

The province's chief medical officer, Dr. Jennifer Russell, says the four new cases include three people in the Moncton area — two of them in their 20s and one under 19.

The fourth case is a person in the Saint John area in their 30s.

The province has now recorded 392 cases, six deaths and 343 recoveries.

There are 43 active cases, but none of those people is in hospital.

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1:55 p.m.

The Manitoba government says it is further tightening its COVID-19 restrictions on social gatherings and shopping.

Starting Friday, people will no longer be allowed to have visitors in their home unless they are providing supports such as child care, tutoring and health services.

Another exemption will allow anyone who lives alone to have one person over for social purposes.

The government is also forcing stores to only sell essential items inside and close off sections that offer non-essential goods such as consumer electronics.

Non-essential goods will still be able to be sold online or made available for curbside pickup.

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1:35 p.m.

Manitoba is reporting 475 new COVID-19 cases today and eight deaths.

The province continues to see the highest per capita infection rate in Canada.

The average test-positivity rate over the last five days is 14 per cent.

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1:25 p.m.

Nova Scotia is reporting one new case of COVID-19.

The new case is in the central zone and is under investigation.

The province has 23 active cases.

As of Thursday, Nova Scotia had recorded 1,155 positive cases, 65 deaths and 1,067 recoveries.

One person remains in hospital.

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12:45 p.m.

Newfoundland and Labrador's chief medical officer issued a dire warning today about COVID-19, likening the surge in cases across the country to a tidal wave headed toward the province.

Dr. Janice Fitzgerald says there is no evidence of community spread in the province, but she insisted that could change quickly if residents continue to show complacency about health protocols.

Health officials confirmed one new case of COVID-19 on Thursday, a man in his 70s in eastern Newfoundland who is now one of 10 active cases in the province.

As of Thursday, the province had recorded 308 cases, four deaths and 294 recovered cases.

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11:50 a.m.

Nunavut is reporting four new cases of COVID-19.

The total number of infections in the territory is now at 74.

The government says three of the new infections are in Arviat, bringing the total number of cases in that community to 57.

The territory started a two-week lockdown yesterday of non-essential businesses, schools and other services.

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11:15 a.m.

The Quebec government is reporting 1,207 new cases of COVID-19 and 34 more deaths, including seven that occurred in the past 24 hours.

Health officials say hospitalizations dropped by one, to 651, and 101 people were in intensive care, a rise of one.

The province says 1,175 more people have recovered from COVID-19, for a total of 109,800 recoveries.

Quebec has reported 128,440 infections and 6,744 deaths linked to the virus since the start of the pandemic.

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10:45 a.m.

Ontario is reporting 1,210 new cases of COVID-19, and 28 new deaths due to the virus.

Health Minister Christine Elliott says 361 cases are in Peel Region, 346 are in Toronto, and 143 are in York Region.

The province says it has conducted 41,838 tests since the last daily report.

The province is also reporting that 526 people are hospitalized with COVID-19, with 88 are on ventilators.


This report by The Canadian Press was first published Nov. 19, 2020.

The Canadian Press